Trying To Support A Charity – The Food Bank Faux Pas

Posted: June 1, 2012 in Chawn

Retro Microphone


I am laughing and watching Flight of the Conchords when my phone  makes a noise. It’s annoying me; screaming, and roundhousing chess pieces. It’s Tim, who is my height, and therefore worthy of my conversation. Or at least a conversation about me.


“Hi Dan, you coming to the youth event tomorrow night?”


“Uh huh.”


“Great. We were hoping you’d do a quick plug for Black Country Food Bank.”




“Well we thought about Food Bank and thought of you.”




“So, are you up for it?”


I think about Food Bank. And about plugging it. And my mind is made up.


“With bells on!”




I realise that that’s not a proper answer, but it’s out there. I let it linger, though I don’t have to.


“Erm… right. Thanks for that Dan. See you tomorrow.”


I think. Tomorrow I have my first ever breakfast meeting with The Raff and bacon rolls, and then Truck Norris’ birthday barbecue in the afternoon. Then this youth thing in the evening. Hang on… That’s the whole day. And I have to go out tonight! I have zero time to think of what to say!




I press play.


And press stop. And go out tonight.




I am lounging with The Raff. We’ve eaten some piglet bits – or ‘pigglebits’ – and sealed the deal. Now I have some time to plan a plug. Food Bank’s incredible. Helping people in crisis through poverty. I think of my own past, when work’s ebbed so much that I haven’t had money for food. Times when Black Country Food Bank has been invaluable. And I am only one man! Which is probably both good and bad. I mean, if one bloke has had to live in lack-of-tins times then how much more has the whole Black Country?


I mean the area.


Not the subgroup.


And…. moving on. Hang on… how on earth would I have coped if I had had kids? I decide that even though I’m not Food Bank, I must plug them with passion. They reflect the hope of Mother Theresa. The hope of a world restored to good, to peace and to material equality. I will say something brilliant.


Which reminds me. I smile, and grab a pineapple. And walk over to Trucklevision’s, which is probably as close to Rotherham as I’ll ever get. A thought strikes me! I could call somebody from Food Bank! I think of their founder, wipe the blood from my brain, and look for her number. I don’t have it, so text her son instead. I carry on looking, and find Joy’s number. Would Joy know anything about Food Bank? Probably not.


“Hi Joy, could you tell me some stuff about Food Bank?”


She does.


For ten minutes.




It is a few hours later, and I have eaten most of a pineapple and enjoyed Truck Berry’s meaty baps. Now I have an hour and a half until the event. And the walk there takes an hour. My phone rings, and annoys me, so I pick it up. “Hi Dan! I heard you were trying to get hold of me?”


It’s The Food Bank Founder, and I am embarrassed.


“Could you tell me some stuff to say?”


She does. For ten minutes.


I get home, and put the phone down, and max speed! The doorbell is knocked. It’s Smithy. Who is over 16. But not over 18.


I am topless, and soapy.


He laughs, and comes in. I carry on trying to memorise my paragraph and hairdry my face when the doorbell is knocked. It’s Sam and Sophie. Who are under 16. I put on a top. And make it soapy. They laugh, and come in.




A few minutes later we head off, and I spend the entire journey rehearsing my lines at Smithy.


And then it happens.


I am ready. Ish. I smile, and take my seat. Where Tim finds me, and says I’m on at 8:20.




It is 8.15. And I am excited! I am about to become an ambassador! Like David Beckham! Or a giant bear! I head to the bottom of the stage, and edge over to Gaz The Host. As does someone else. Someone who wants to say something. Someone who is given the mic. Someone who says something bizarre and inappropriate for this setting. I sigh, as the band responds with an impromptu encore.


A few minutes later Gaz The Host takes the stage.


It is 8.30.


“And now…! I would like to introduce…!”


Game on!




Oh. I sit down. And practice the paragraph in my head.




It is later, and Tim has done his thing. I am looking at Gaz The Host eagerly, who doesn’t reciprocate. Then I feel a hand.


It’s Tim.


“Sorry, Dan. We weren’t expecting that encore. Gaz The Host is gonna quickly say something about Food Bank at the end.”




I sigh. And watch Gaz say something quickly at the end.


Something brilliant.


I smile. And go and finish washing off the soap.


Check out the invaluable Black Country Food Bank at




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